Garbanzo on the Side

Garbanzo is the another name for the chickpea. Here’s a salad that takes longer to say it than to make it. The key to success in this combo is to only use garden or farm fresh tomatoes. It has a cool refreshing mediterranean taste and feel. It's a perfect side-dish to make on a hot evening in the kitchen.

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Tomato & Chick Pea Salad

Makes four side servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle 

1 Pint red grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed & split a half pint 

1 Pint yellow grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed & split a half pint 

2 cups (or 2 cans) chick peas (aka garbanzo, ceci, Indian pea) drained & rinsed

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of one lemon

zest from one lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 mint leaves chopped

2 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

one teaspoon hot sauce

fresh ground black pepper

pinch sea salt

In a large bowl mix olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, mint, parsley, hot sauce, pepper, and salt. Add all tomatoes, mix and let marinate for 10 minutes. Add chick peas, toss and allow to sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving. Serve with a grilled slice of Naan. 

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All Tossed

With spring’s arrival, I'm inspired to toss up a fresh seasonal salad. Now is the time to really enjoy spring greens when they are sweet and at their peak; later in summer the flavors tend to bitter a bit with the heat. Whether you are preparing salad for two or planning your Mother's Day brunch, here are few tips + recipes to make plating up your spring salad even better.

Be sure to do the prep with your delicate spring lettuce; submerge leaves in cold water repeatedly until there is no evidence of soil or sand. Then give those leaves a good spin, so your homemade vinaigrette will easily coat your leaves. Wet leaves repell the dressing.

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Good Stuff Pick - OXO Salad Spinner

George's Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Makes 2 1/2 cups | Know Your Fire Cookbook

1 Tablespoons chives

1 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp capers or chopped green olives

1/2 tsp lite soy sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton

1 recipe Basic Vinaigette (recipe to follow)

Combine the chives, parsley,capers or olives, and lite soy sauce with the cream and half the cheese and blend well. Add the vinaigrette and stir in the remaining cheese. Let the dressing stand at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

George's Basic Vinaigrette

Makes 2 cups | Know Your Fire Cookbook

"Use whichever vinegar appeals to you: If using balsamic, cut the amount in half." 

1 1/4 cups virgin olive oil

3/4 cups vinegar

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a fork or a whisk to blend. Or place the ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake until they're well blended.

Allow the dressing to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to develop the flavor.

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There are four main kinds of lettuce to choose from: Butterhead (Bibb), Crisphead (Iceberg), Looseleaf (Cutting) and Romaine. 

Looseleaf

Looseleaf lettuce make colorful tender leaf salads in chartreuse, deep green and bronzy reds. 

Crisphead

Crisphead lettuce contain curved, overlapping leaves which form crispy, firm round heads. Inside, creamy white leaves are tightly packed. Deep green outer leaves are delicious too.

Romaine

Romaine lettuce contain elongated, thick leaves which are crisp and savory.

Butterhead

Butterhead lettuce is the largest and best-flavored group of lettuces. Tender leaf lettuces form a tightly folded head with delicate buttery flavor. Typically smaller heads than other types. 

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Gazpacho as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me multiple times weekly + 

Tune-in GHL CreateTV Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM, Sat 7:30AM/7:30PM Sun 8:30AM/1:30PM est

This time of year is perfect to dream about those farm fresh veggies. But don’t just dream, enjoy one of my favorite refreshing soups anytime!  

on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from  George Hirsch Lifestyle

on location Seps Farm East Marion, NY from George Hirsch Lifestyle

I also call Gazpacho "liquid salad" — for obvious reasons. Its origin and roots go back to ancient times in Andalusia Spain; with a version of the recipe believed to be concocted as a re-energizing dish for Roman workers building roads in early 2nd century Spain. Traditionally, gazpacho recipes include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, and a touch of vinegar. 

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Gazpacho aka Liquid Salad

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV  

1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped very fine

4 cups low sodium tomato juice + Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup each sweet red + yellow pepper, chopped very fine

1/4 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped fine

4 cloves garlic, fine chop

1/4 cup scallion, fine chop

1/2 cup cucumber; peeled and seeded, chopped very fine

1 Tablespoon cilantro + 1/4 each teaspoon hot sauce, cumin, sea salt + fresh ground black pepper 

1/2 cup stale bread, toasted and chopped fine

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

Optional: 1 fresh gherkin cut into four wedges and a spring on dill to garnish. Or, marinate very fresh scallops or shrimp in tequila & hot sauce--top mugs ceviche style. 

*In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and chill for two hours before serving. 

My recipe will give your knife skills a work out. Feel free to use a blender. Keep in mind the manual chopping of the vegetables will preserve the flavor. 

*Tip: Be aware, using a food processor or blender actually cooks the veggies with the friction, in turn, changing the natural uncooked flavor, which is the true essence of this dish. There are many versions of gazpacho, but I prefer this one without any meat broth, keeping it true to its veggie roots, and finishing it off with a drizzle of a good olive oil.  

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Grilled Show Stopper

Celebrating Chef George's 24th Anniversary on PBS

Join me + Tune-in GHL CreateTV

 Wed 8:30AM/2:30PM Sun 8:30AM

Try a new spin on an ol' salad recipe of mine. A great way to impress your guests or just enjoy for a quick mid-week fix. This was one of those recipes I did for my PBS grilling shows that made people scratch their head years ago. I was grilling lettuce before grilling lettuce was considered cool. Here's the how-to on grilling-up a delicious appetizer or side. And, it only takes a few minutes! Top with this dressing.

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Grilled Romaine 

Makes four servings 

chefgeorgehirsch.com | Adapted from Adventures in Grilling, 1996 

2  heads of hearts of romaine lettuce, split in half & washed

4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 cloves caramelized garlic

A pinch of sea salt 

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, rough chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Pre heat grill to high heat.

Cut the romaine heart in half lengthwise, leaving stem end intact. Soak romaine heads in bowl of cold water. Brush with olive oil.

Put romaine halves on hot grill. Cook for about 2 minutes each side, until lettuce begins to blister slightly and lettuce gets a slight char. Turn over and grill for 2 additional minutes.  

Remove and plate cut side up, and top each with remaining olive oil, balsamic, garlic cloves, Parmesan, prosciutto, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve while still warm. Optional: serve with thinly sliced prosciutto.

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